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Child of Fire: A Twenty Palaces Novel [Kindle Edition]

Harry Connolly
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £5.27
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Book Description

BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Harry Connolly's Game of Cages and Twenty Palaces.

Ray Lilly is living on borrowed time. He’s the driver for Annalise Powliss, a high-ranking member of the Twenty Palace Society, a group of sorcerers devoted to hunting down and executing rogue magicians. But because Ray betrayed her once, Annalise is looking for an excuse to kill him–or let someone else do the job.

Unfortunately for both of them, Annalise’s next mission goes wrong, leaving her critically injured. With the little magic he controls, Ray must complete her assignment alone. Not only does he have to stop a sorcerer who’s sacrificing dozens of innocent lives in exchange for supernatural power, he must find–and destroy–the source of that inhuman magic.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3477 KB
  • Print Length: 365 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Original edition (22 Sept. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002PYFW9S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #170,555 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lesley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Raymond Lilly doesn't know what his final destination is going to be but he does know that when he gets there, when he finishes the job his boss has for him to do, then he is going to die. His boss, the sorceress Annalise Powliss, would kill him right now but she's probably been told by the Twenty Palace Society that she can't, yet. Annalise's mission is to find workers of magic and the spell books they have as well as predators, so she can destroy them. She is extremely well equipped to do this work. Ray is just along as her driver and her "wooden man". His reason for volunteering for this mission is to try to do something to atone for his past. The magic force in Hammer Bay, Washington, is immense and volatile. Parents watch their own children being consumed by flames and yet have no memory that the child ever existed. Silver-gray worms leave scorch marks on anything they touch on their way to burrowing into the ground. Dogs that aren't actually dogs at all kill seemingly innocent victims. This town has some serious problems.

Raymond Lilly is a character to watch, and I do mean watch closely. This first episode in the new series created by Harry Connolly will keep readers of urban fantasy adventures sitting on the edge of their seat. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. This book starts off at a dead run and just keeps moving faster. There is action literally on every page as we become acquainted with Ray and the guilt he is suffering over the things he has done in his past. Just released from prison, he is completely in the dark about what is going to happen with Annalise and so is the reader. This author kept me in the dark about most of the major aspects of this story and yet the action taking place was so riveting that I think I forgive him for that.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and entertaining 22 Oct. 2009
By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
An entertaining but unusual story this. It unravels bit by bit but still keeps some things from you even after you have finished.

Ex-con ends up as a lackey for a Sorceress (possibly, it's never made very clear) who is part of the "Twenty Palace Society" a group that hunt down and eliminate anyone using unauthorised magic. This is Dark Fantasy at it's best, very little is black or white and nearly everything sits in the grey area in-between. Even our lead characters and the Twenty Palace Society, we assume they are sort of the good guys, but are never sure if they are or if they are just a nicer shade of bad!

Our ex-con Ray works with Annalise who is a nasty piece of work and (for reasons that will only partly be explained) hates Ray and is quite happy to sacrifice him if the job requires it. No nice cosy characters here.

So, this irritable and ill matched duo are despatched to track down a small town with a too popular toy factory and a diminishing population. And what they find is not nice, is very dark and has a real menace about it.

A first time and very accomplished novel, obviously the first in a promising series. I picked this up for a quick read and enjoyed it far more then I thought I would, partly because it chooses not to lay everything in front of you and become stock fare for these kind of books. It has a real pace about it, a refreshing approach and cast and let's not forget that vein of menace that creeps through much of the book. Recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fire and predators 22 May 2010
By EA Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Most urban fantasy has two things:
1. A female protagonist, usually in her mid-twenties (max) and with an arsenal of weapons and magical superpowers.
2. Lots of extremely cliched politics/romance with vampires and werewolves. Maybe fairies.

And having been oversaturated in both, it's kind of a relief to come across "Child of Fire," Harry Connolly's dark, often gory urban fantasy -- think the Dresden Files by way of H.P. Lovecraft. Connolly still has some freshman errors to correct, but his prose and characters have a vibrancy and unique quality that are very stirring.

Children in the town of Hammer Bay are bursting into flame, deteriorating into silver worms, and immediately being forgotten by everybody around them. Ray Lilly and his hostile partner Annalise are sent in to find the magical predator who is causing this trouble, but they soon discover that the people of Hammer Bay don't like people who ask weird questions -- especially about its reigning family, who owns a toymaking company.

And after Ray and Annalise confront the rich toymaker who runs the town, Annalise suffers a devastating injury that leaves Ray having do the investigation on his own. As even more kids vanish, Ray has to deal with a corrupt police force (who have some supernatural powers of his own) and an unseen predator that rules the entire town...

"Child of Fire" is definitely a first novel, and Connolly is still working out his writing kinks. Some parts of the plot are not fully articulated (just what IS the Twenty Palaces Society and how does it work?!), and some are kind of repetitive (how many times can Ray be attacked by a gang of thugs, just so he can beat them up and blow them off?).

But despite those flaws, "Child of Fire" is powerful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars nah
too much unrelated and unjustified violence...not enough story
Published 4 months ago by april
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of starts
I was recommended this series by my brother in law, and really it should be perfect for me. Urban magic, demons, death and destruction, with a mis-matched pair of magic users. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Colin Murtagh
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel - immediately bought the second book
I heard about Harry Connolly after Jim Butcher recommended him as a writer to watch. I was very impressed with his immersive style: you are immediately launched into the action... Read more
Published 11 months ago by R. Armitage
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and am glad to come across another great author writing in the Urban Fantasy genre.
Published 14 months ago by Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
Brought for a birthday present, receiver was very pleased with it. Nothing else that I need to say on the subject
Published on 19 Jun. 2013 by Sandra dee
5.0 out of 5 stars The first in a great series
I truly recommend this to any Jim Butcher fan out there. Give this series and it's hero some time and attention, you won't regret it. Read more
Published on 8 Mar. 2013 by Magnus
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic - its mostly bad for you.
Magic is bad. very bad. Mostly it'll kill you. Sometimes It'll kill your family and leave you forgetting they ever existed. Read more
Published on 19 Jan. 2012 by D. J. Ketchin
5.0 out of 5 stars So good, I bought the sequels...
Okay, if you don't like anything fantastical or supernatural, my advice would be to look away now. But you'll be missing good reads. Your loss. Read more
Published on 3 Sept. 2011 by Dean
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
I really enjoyed this novel and can imagine reading a lot more about the characters in future installments. The plot is highly entertaining with interesting concepts. Read more
Published on 27 Jun. 2011 by C. J. Dyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Child of Fire (20 Palaces V1)
This book was recommended to me by Charles Stross (yes the author) on the basis that I enjoyed his "Laundry" series. I'd endorse this as a reason for buying this series. Read more
Published on 27 April 2011 by Ken O'Neill
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